Guadeloupe Travel Guide
The Domaine de Lonvilliers is getting a flash re-opening with a seriously flash restaurant. This 145-room resort is on the French side of St Martin and boasts of having both European stylishness and a laidback Caribbean nature – we're not sure if it's possible, but it sure sounds like a beautiful combination.
The new Domaine de Lonvilliers will include a restaurant from chef Christophe Leroy, who has already set up his famed "La Table du Marche" restaurants in other resorts in the Caribbean and beyond. That means the food should be pretty darn good.
The reopening is scheduled for December 1 and they've got some special rates from then until March 31, 2010, starting from $250 per night and $300 a night over the Christmas and New Year season. One gripe we have: French readers will be able to get a lot more restaurant and hotel info out of Christophe Leroy's website, but the rest of us will be scrounging around the site trying to find a button to turn it into English.
[Photo: Santino Corleone]
Speaking for ourselves, we’re more last minute people than plan-aheaders; but the early birds among you might like to check out St Barts, and the Hôtel Le Toiny’s imaginatively-named Early Bird offer for stays this winter.
It’s not that early either: you only need to book a stay of at least five nights by 31 October, and you’ll save just under 15%, and get a car, breakfast, transfers and laundry service thrown in as well. There will even be a “welcome amenity” waiting for you, whatever that is.
Prices start from €1130 normally €1250) for a junior suite, and run up to €2430 for a three bedroom suite (down from €2780). But you’ll need to pay up front, and it’s non-refundable.
It’s available for stays between January 5 to March 31 next year. So you won’t get a Crimbo break out of it, but you can probably postpone your New Year festivities, no?
Hot diggety! The rich freakin always stay rich! (Well, unless they totally invested everything with Bernie Madoff.) Apparently it's been Opposite Day for Hotel St. Barth Isle de France when it comes to sales. As our nation and economy continues a dangerous downward spiral, Hotel SBIDF is packing in the guests.
While other hotels saw a decline in business, Hotel SBIDF saw their business improve since November 2008, says a rep. They've been dropping money into the property like crazy too.
However, it looks like a project in St. Bart's has received the greenlight and will be the second Delano to open. We were tipped off that Dutch designer Piet Boon would be in charge of the Delano St. Barts design (the original was done by Philippe Starck) and on Boon's web site, the opening date is set as near as 2009.
Other than that, we have no other info such as where in St. Barts or what this place will look like. But as soon as we hear something, we'll update you. Similarly, if you know something, won't you be kind to share it with us too?
A hotel room in St Barths is a good place to relax at any time of year--or a place where the art gallery comes within the hotel, if you remember our story last week. But when winter gets you down then the warmth of St Barths is an especially good destination, and you could try the Hotel Guanahani and Spa because, for a start, it has a lovely warm sounding name!
Get beyond the name and everything about the Guanahani is still screaming "winter escape". It belongs to the Leading Small Hotels of the World group and deservedly so, with its luxury cottages (some so brightly colored so you won't have any trouble finding your way back there), full-service spa, two to-die-for pools and two beaches.
Winter rates do, of course, jump up a bit from the better-value summer packages, but it's now that you need the sunshine: nightly rates including breakfast start at $820 for a basic room and rise to $1670 for the Ocean 1-Bedroom Suite, which includes a living room and a terrace. All guests get free access to snorkeling, windsurfing, canoes, tennis courts and the fitness room, if you need to work off a bit of post-Christmas winter flab, like we do.
· Book a Hotel with an Art Gallery Included [HotelChatter]
· Hotels in St Barths [HotelChatter]
· St Barths Travel Stories [Jaunted]
Ok, you know we usually shy away from staged marketing photos. It isn't like we have an aversion to good photos--Noah takes great, real hotel photos for us. However, the above photo illustrates why we like to use hotel issued photos as a last resort.
C'mon. We all know if you are lucky enough to check in to the Christian Liaigre (Club Med Bora Bora, The Mercer in New York) designed Le Sereno in Saint-Barthélemy you are going to flop on the bed in sheer ecstasy, leaving your bags strewn throughout the room along the way--why do they have to prop those bags up there? Besides, the room looks great regardless, just leave the bags out of the shot.
Furthermore, if do happen to be OCD enough to neatly line your perfectly packed burlap bags at the end of the bed before enjoying the room, then we hope the person unlucky enough to travel with you brought plenty of rum.
Our advice to the person traveling with this type of pedantic traveler? Head out to that couch type thing you see in the insert above, down a bottle of rum and flirt heavily with the young, friendly, beautiful staffers that grace this 37-villa seaside resort.
The villas include plasma-screen TVs, iPods, Wi-Fi, and Ex Voto Paris bath products.
The beach isn't one of the nicest on the island, but the resort is--we are sure your OCD partner, who meticulously lines up luggage at the end of hotel beds upon arrival, is already complaining about the beach, instead of enjoying the beautiful resort. See why we don't usually use these type of photos? They conjure up all kinds of visions.
· St. Barts Travel Stories [Jaunted]
· Le Sereno Rates [TabletHotels]